Ritual of the 3=8 Grade of Practicus


This Grade is particularly attributed to the element of Water, and especially refers to the planet Mercury and to the thirty-first and thirtieth paths of ש‎ and ר‎. It opens with the Adoration to the King of the Waters, which is followed by the Advancement. The Theoricus first gives the necessary signs, and then, as before, solemnly pledges himself to secrecy, after which he is conducted to the East and placed between the Mystic Pillars. The “Hierophant” then says to him:

“Before you are the portals of the thirty-first, thirty-second and twenty-ninth paths. Of these, as you already know, the central one leads from the 1 = 10 of Zelator to the 2 = 9 of Theoricus. That on the left hand, which is now open to you, is the thirty-first, which leads from the 1 = 10 of Zelator to the 3 = 8 of Practicus. Take in your right hand the Pyramid of Flame, and follow your guide Axiokersa1) the Kabir, who leads you through the path of fire.

In this ritual the Three Cabiri are made to represent the triangle of fire, thus: Axieros, the first Kabir, says: “I am the apex of the Triangle of Flame: I am the Solar {270} Fire pouring forth its beams upon the lower world: Life-giving, Life-producing.” Then Axiokersos, the second Kabir, says: “I am the left-hand basal angle of the Triangle of Flame: I am Fire, Volcanic and Terrestrial, flashing and flaming through the deep abysses of Earth: Fire rending, fire penetrating, tearing asunder the curtains of Matter; fire constrained; fire tormenting; raging and whirling in lurid storm!” And lastly, Axiokersa, the third Kabir, says: “I am the right-hand basal angle of the Triangle of Flame. I am Fire, Astral and Fluid, winding through the Firmament of Air. I am the life of Being, the vital heat of Existence.

The Hierophant then takes the solid triangular pyramid and explains:

“The solid triangular Pyramid is an appropriate hieroglyph of fire. It is formed of four triangles, three visible and one concealed: which latter is the synthesis of the rest. The three visible triangles represent Fire, Solar, Volcanic and Astral; while the fourth represents latent heat. The three words: אוראובאוד refer to three conditions of heat: Aud, Active; Aub, Passive;2) Aur, the Equilibrated; while אש (Ash) is the name of Fire.”

“The Thirty-first Path of the Sepher Yetzirah, which answereth to the letter ש, is called the Perpetual Intelligence; and it is so called because it regulateth the motions of the Sun and Moon in their proper order; each in an orbit convenient for it. It is, therefore, the reflection of the sphere of Fire; and the path connecting the material universe, as depicted in Malkuth, with the Pillar of Severity and the side of Geburah through the Sephira Hod.”

Diagram 26. Arrangement of the Temple for the 31st Path in the 3<sup>○</sup>=8<sup>□</sup> Ritual.

He then explains to the Theoricus the twentieth Key of the Tarot. It is a glyph of the powers of Fire. The angel crowned with the Sun is Michael, the ruler of Solar Fire.

The serpents which leap in the rainbow are symbols of the fiery Seraphim. The trumpet represents the influence of the Spirit descending upon Binah; and the banner with the cross refers to the four rivers of Paradise. Michael is also Axieros; the left-hand {271} figure Samael, the ruler of Volcanic Fire — he is also Axiokersos; the right-hand figure is Axiokersa. “These three principal figures form the Triangle of Fire; and they further represent Fire operating in the other three elements of Earth, Water and Air.” The central lower figure is Erd, the ruler of latent heat, he is the candidate in the Samothracian mysteries, and rises from the Earth as if to receive and absorb the properties of the other three. The three lower figures form the Hebrew Letter schin, to which Fire is especially referred; the seven Hebrew Yodhs refer to the Sephiroth operating in each of the seven planets, and also to the Schemhamphorasch.”

Diagram 27. The Ten Sephiroth in the Seven Palaces. / Diagram 28. The Attributions of the Ten Sephiroth to the Four Letters.


Diagram 29. The Solar Greek Cross.

The Hiereus then explains the two tablets: “The Ten Sephiroth in Seven Palaces,” and “The attribution of the Ten Sephiroth to the four letters of the Holy Name.” And the “Hegemon:” “The Seven Heavens of Assiah,”4) and “The Ten evil Sephiroth of the Qliphoth.”5)

The Hierophant then confers on the Theoricus the title of the Thirty- first Path, which ends the first part of the Ceremony of 3 = 8.

The second part consists of the ritual of the Thirtieth Path. The “Hierophant” explains the Solar Greek Cross, and then says:

“The Thirtieth Path of the Sepher Yetzirah, which answereth unto the letter 'Resch,' is called the collecting intelligence; and it is so called because from it astrologers deduce the judgment of the stars, and of the {272} celestial signs, and the perfections of their science, according to the rules of their resolutions. It is therefore the reflection of the Sphere of the Sun; and the Path connecting Yesod with Hod, the Foundation with Splendour.”

Diagram 30. The Arrangement of the Templ for the 30th Path in the 3<sup>○</sup>=8<sup>□</sup> Ritual.

And then enters upon the symbolism of the Nineteenth Key of the Tarot, which resumes these ideas: The Sun has twelve principal rays which represent the Zodiac; these are divided into thirty-six rays to represent the thirty-six Decantes; and then again into seventy-two Quinaries. Thus the Sun itself embraces the whole creation in its rays. The seven Hebrew Yodhs falling through the air refer to the Solar influence descending. “The two children, standing respectively on Water and Earth, represent the generating influences of both, brought into action by the rays of the Sun. They are the two inferior and passive elements, as the Sun and the Air above them are the superior and active elements of Fire and Air.” Furthermore, these two children resemble the sign Gemini (which the Greeks and Romans referred to Castor and Pollux), which unites the Earthly sign of Taurus and the Watery sign of Cancer.

The Hiereus then shows the Theoricus the tablet of “The astrological symbols of the Planets,”6) and explains to him the tablet of “The true and genuine attribution of the Tarot Trumps to the Hebrew Alphabet.”7)

After which the Hegemon leads him to “The Tablet of the Olympic, or aerial planetary spirits,”8) and shows him “The Geomantic Figures” with the ruling intelligences and genii, also the Talismanic symbols allotted to each geomantic figure.9)

The Hierophant now confers upon the Theoricus the title of Lord of the Thirteenth Path, who quits the Temple for a short time.

By means of the symbol of the Stolistes — the chalice of Lustral Water — the Theoricus {273} seeks entrance to the Temple. The “Hierophant” rises, and facing the altar, addresses the Theoricus thus:

“Before you is represented the symbolism of the Garden of Eden, at the summit is the Supernal Eden containing the three Supernal Sephiroth. … And in the garden were the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which latter is from Malkuth … and a river Nahar went forth out of Eden, namely, from the Supernal Triad, to water the garden — the rest of the Sephiroth. And from thence it was divided into four heads, in Da„th. … The first head is Pison, which flows into Geburah. … The second head is Gihor … flowing into Chesed. The third is Hiddekel … flowing into Tiphereth. And the Fourth … is Phrath, Euphrates, which floweth down upon Malkuth.” These four rivers form the Cross of the Great Adam. In Malkuth is Eve, the completion of All, the Mother of All.

The Hierophant then gives the Theoricus the sign of this grade, and explains the Altar symbol: “The Cross above the triangle represents the power of the spirit of life rising above the triangle of waters; and reflecting the triune therein, as further marked by the lamps at their angles: while the chalice of water placed at the junction of the cross and triangle represents the maternal letter Mem.” After which, the tablet bearing the mystic seals and names drawn from the Kamea of Mercury10) is shown the Theoricus, as well as the tablet of the seven planes of the Tree of Life, answering to the seven planets, and the tablet showing the meaning of the Alchemical Mercury on the Tree of Life; also the symbols of all the planets resumed in a Mercurial Figure.

Diagram 31. The Arrangement of the Temple for the Ceremony of Practicus in the 3<sup>○</sup>=8<sup>□</sup> Ritual.

Diagram 32. The Altar Symbol in the 3<sup>○</sup>=8<sup>□</sup> Ritual.

The “Hierophant” then congratulates the newly made Practicus, and confers upon him {274} the mystic title of “MONOKEROS DE ASTRIS,”11) which means “The Unicorn from the Stars,” and gives him the symbol of Maim — water.

The closing of the Temple now takes place, and the prayer to the Undines is rehearsed, and in the name of ELOHIM TZABAOTH is the Dismissal pronounced.

Diagram 33. The Garden of Eden.


In May, 1899, three months after P. had passed through the ceremony of 3 = 8, he was sufficiently prepared for the further advancement to the grade of 4 = 7.

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The Equinox Vol. I No. II

This introduction of the Samothracian mysteries is evidently a straining after effect. They were of a much lower order than the Eleusinian, and a great deal more obscure; in fact, even at the time, people could not define with anything like accuracy what the Kabiri really were. The student will find more concerning these semi-mythical beings in Strabo, Diodorus and Varro. D”llinger says: “This much is undoubted on the joint testimony of Strabo and Mnaseas; the gods whose initiation people received here (Samothrace) were Axieros, “i.e.”, Demeter; Axiokersos, “i.e.”, Hades; and Axiokersa, “i.e.”, Persephone.” — D“llinger, “The Gentile and the Jew,” Eng. edition, 1906, vol. i., pp. 172-186.
Hence: “Odic” force; and “Obi” or “Obeah,” witchcraft.
WEH Note — This is the traditional depiction of the moment of the opening of the 50th Gate of Understanding, although there is little evidence that the matter was understood by the G∴ D∴ as such. Description: The device is contained within a circle, concentrically doubled to present a narrow outside ring. Within are seven identical circles, six tangent to the outer ring and a central seventh tangent to the outer six. The six circles are arranged such that there is one circle at top, one at bottom and two to each side. The following Hebrew words are in the circles: Central — תפארת. The top circle — three tightly nested included circles with one to top and two to bottom: top — קתר, right below — חקמה, left below — בינה. The remaining of the seven intermediate circles, proceeding from already described top in a clockwise direction: 2nd — חסד. 3rd — נצח. 4th(bottom) — divided into two smaller circles, top one has יסוד, bottom one has מלקות. 5th — הוד. 6th — גבורה}
“See 777,” cols. xciii., xciv., xcv., pp. 21, 20.
“See 777,” col. viii., p.2
See 777, col. clxxvii., p. 35.
See 777, col. xiv., p. 4.
See 777, col. lxxx., p. 18
See Handbook of Geomancy, THE EQUINOX, vol. i., No. II.
A Kamea is a Magic square. “See” “Mathematical Recreations,” by W. W. Rouse Ball.
WEH NOTE: These titles generally derive from Baron Ecker und Eckhoffen's book “Der Rosenkreutzer in Seiner Blosse”, a work from 1781 written as an attack against the Rosicrucianism of the time and published under the name “Magister Pianco”. The titles appear with the grade designations and names, in a slightly different fashion from that used by the Order of the Golden Dawn, in Mackenzie's “Royal Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry” as a chart translated by Mackenzie from Pianco. It is interesting to note that these titles were to be changed frequently and that the Golden Dawn used passwords 200 years out of date! See “Codex Rosae” “Crucis”, Manly Hall, Philosophers Press, Los Angeles, 1938, p. 13.
WEH Note — This figure represents a theory of Eden on the Tree of Life that is very much different from the symbolism of traditional Qabalah, as presented in the “Sepher Yetzirah” and other sources. The same is true of the particular method of division of this tree into the Trees of Life and the Knowledge of Good and Evil.


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